Guided Listening #2: Calling All Fairy Tales

For this Guided Listening, you will need:

A copy of these teaching steps
Text asset: Oskar Morawetz, Overture to a Fairy Tale
Audio asset: Excerpts I-V of Overture to a Fairy Tale by Oskar Morawetz

Audio excerpts and textual information are provided below the Guided Listening.

I. Listen and Relate
• Listen to Excerpt I from Overture to a Fairy Tale by Oskar Morawetz without providing any information about the music.
• Challenge the students: what do you think this music is about? With luck, someone will guess ‘fairy tales’.

II. Adapt
• Reveal the title, then brainstorm a short list of fairy tales with the class (The Frog Prince, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk etc.).
• Each small group of students adopts one fairy tale and charts a plotline of the main events in the storyline.

III. Reflect
• Listen to audio excerpts I-V, first sharing the information in the text asset: Oskar Morawetz, Overture to a Fairy Tale.
• Listen once to the music, noting what the music does during each minute. Listen again. Each group assigns times in the music to their fairytale plot line already created.
• Ask each group to figure out: Does the generically generated music fit your story? Where does it work best, and what is it about the music that makes it work so well? Summarize conclusions on the plot chart.
• Each group presents its findings to the class. Post the charts.

IV. Reflect
• Ask: This is a very popular and frequently performed piece of orchestral music. Why do you think we like fairy tales so much? Why does this music about fairy tales please so many people?
Catherine West and Alison Kenny-Gardhouse

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